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Employees Scam Holocaust Fund For $42M

From a surprisingly non-judgmental Associated Press:

Holocaust survivor funds raided for $42 million

By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer Tue Nov 9, 2010

NEW YORK – Two funds created to provide relief for cash-strapped Holocaust survivors were raided for more than $42 million with the help of several people who were supposed to administer the funds, federal authorities said Tuesday as they announced charges against 17 people.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara described the decade-long scheme at a news conference, saying the money was stolen in a "perverse and pervasive fraud" from the Conference on the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, a not-for-profit group that disburses funds provided by the German government to individuals and organizations.

Six corrupt employees approved more than 5,500 fraudulent applications for aid, leading to millions of dollars being paid to people who did not qualify for help, Bharara said.

The prosecutor portrayed the Claims Conference as a victim, saying the organization had for six decades provided a "financial lifeline for thousands of survivors who suffered the worst of what World War II had to offer."

It’s a little hard to see the Claims Conference as a victim when its director and several employees were behind the scam. (See below.)

He said the defendants created thousands of false applications and duped residents of New York’s Russian Jewish immigrant community into participating, sometimes by convincing them that they qualified for payouts.

Yes, it is so easy to be duped into believing you were a victim of the holocaust.

Bharara said there was such a "culture of fraud" among the defendants that some Claims Conference employees and their families received payments

Oh, it was a "culture of fraud." It wasn’t just plain thievery.

Janice K. Fedarcyk, head of the New York office of the FBI, said the defendants each played a role in creating, filing and processing fraudulent claims on behalf of non-qualifying applicants and then dividing up the proceeds.

"Funds established and financed by the German government to aid Holocaust survivors were siphoned off by the greedy — and not paid out, as intended, to the worthy," she said.

The Claims Conference said in a statement that no Holocaust victims were deprived of any funds as a result of the fraud.

What a laugh. Where was the $42 million that was stolen supposed to go, if not to Holocaust victims?

"We are outraged that individuals would steal money intended for survivors of history’s worst crime to enrich themselves," said Julius Berman, chairman of the Claims Conference. "It is an affront to human decency."

In an e-mail sent Tuesday to the Claims Conference board of directors, Berman said "the betrayal of those from our own staff as well as the actions of many people outside the Claims Conference who conspired against us strains credulity."

There is a lot of credulity being strained here.

Authorities portrayed Semen Domnitser as central to the scheme, saying he became the director of both [of the Claims Conference’s] funds in 1999 after working as a caseworker from April 1, 1994 until his promotion. A criminal complaint said it was his responsibility to make sure verifications of information were properly performed and documented and his approval was required before applications could be sent to the German government for payment…

Again, if the director of the Claims Conference was behind this scam, it’s a little hard to accept them as "the victim."

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Employees Scam Holocaust Fund For $42M”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    These people need to be dropped into Palestinian territory with no money or ID.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    AP can report $42 Million scammed from the Holocaust Fund but zilch for the rape of $780 Billion of American taxpayers money here in the United States. While this is beyond reproach……………I mean……really.

    Am I alone in this?

  3. Papa Louie says:

    “no Holocaust victims were deprived of any funds as a result of the fraud.”

    That one puzzled me, too, until the last paragraph. Apparently, all applications were sent to the German government for payment, which implies that the Holocaust Fund was not a fixed amount but an open-ended source of funds. So the $42 Million was scammed from the German government in addition to the funds paid to legit victims. Apparently, it is the Germans who should be upset over this scam.

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